4) Kendrys Morales Really Is OK
Kendrys Morales stats look horrible 50 games into the season. The slash line is a terrible .182/.254/.306. Many people say he looks “lost” at the plate.
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But, other numbers tell a completely different tale. According to FiveThirtyEight.com writer Rob Arthur, who used Stat Cast exit velocities and ball trajectories to project OPS (on base plus slugging), estimated that Morales should have a robust .935 OPS rather than an anemic .560.
Add in his abysmal .205 BABIP (major-league average hovers around .300) and you have what appears to be some crazy bad luck. However, can things really be that simple?
Maybe teams have gotten some good batted ball data that has allowed them to position their defenders exceptionally well against Morales. Is it possible that some hitters are unusually regular where they hit the ball and are thus more vulnerable to shifts than others? Right now, that’s a question I’m going to have to leave for future research because I don’t know how to investigate this hypothesis.
Even so, with Morales hitting the ball hard at trajectories that should lead to success seems to tell us that nothing’s wrong with him.
Next: Hit And Run